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2012 MotoGP – Rnd 16 – Sepang – Race

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo endured a treacherous ordeal to take second in this afternoon’s Grand Prix of Malaysia. The Championship leader took the hole shot from pole on the wet track with closest rival Dani Pedrosa in pursuit less than half a second behind. Lorenzo maintained his lead until just before the last corner on lap nine where Pedrosa was able to pass. The rain increased at this point making riding extremely difficult for the entire grid, Lorenzo himself miraculously saving a near fall into turn 15. The red flags were eventually brought out to halt the race on lap 13 after a number of riders fell in the treacherous conditions. The second place finish means Lorenzo moves on to the final two races with a 23 point lead in the Championship.

Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies had dropped three places from the start grid, working hard to avoid another rider spinning off the line. As a result he went into the first corner in ninth position, then dropping to tenth on lap three. The Texan then found an impressive race pace matching the front runners and looked threatening to move up the field until disaster struck on the eighth lap as he became one of the many victims to fall in the incredibly slippery conditions. The DNF means Spies heads to the final two races of the season remaining on 88 points in tenth position.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 2nd – Time: +3.774

“If we were riding at 20km per hour it is easy to stay on the bike but it is very difficult to find the limit in these conditions. They made the right decision to stop the race, for us it was great because we might otherwise have finished on the ground and crashed. We used the soft rear where Dani and Casey used the harder one. When the conditions were ok they used less of the centre of the tyre so when the conditions became worse they had more to play with.”

Ben Spies

DNF

“What a shocking race, the water on the track was incredible. I’m really sorry for rubbing into Nicky, I thought I had enough space to brake; I’m relieved we didn’t go down together and he was ok. It was a close one at the start as well, Dovi spun off the line and we were lucky not to make contact. That was one of the wettest races I’ve had in a long time, my shoulder’s really sore from the fall but thankfully nothing too serious so I’ll be able to ride in Australia.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“A very wet race! I think Jorge did great, he tried in the beginning to get away and escape, finally he kept a bit of safety to stay on two wheels. In the end second position is great for the Championship. We still have two races to go and he is ready to try again in Phillip Island.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“The conditions were very bad today, I think the decision to stop the race was the right one. The safety of the riders has to be guaranteed. We are leaving here with 23 points, still leading the Championship which is important. Hopefully Ben can have different results in the next two races; fortunately he didn’t receive any serious injuries and should be fine for Phillip Island. We won’t be going there looking to finish in second place.”

Dovizioso and Crutchlow fall in Malaysian monsoon

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow both fell out of contention while challenging for the top five in monsoon conditions at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this afternoon.

The 20-lap race started in treacherous conditions, but Dovizioso and Crutchlow quickly calculated how hard they could attack the rain-soaked Sepang track, despite having no previous wet time on track this weekend.

Italian Dovizioso immediately put himself in contention for a seventh podium finish of the season and he was in hot pursuit of reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. But with the rain getting heavier and track conditions worsening by the second, he crashed out of fourth position on lap 10.

Dovizioso was able to remount his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine and re-join the action in 14th position. The race was then red flagged on lap 13 with Race Direction halting proceedings as standing water began to appear in sections of the track.

With seven laps still to be completed, a scheduled restart was later abandoned with the conditions showing no sign of improving and full World Championship points were awarded, with Dovizioso picking up three points for 13th.

British rider Crutchlow was also having a very strong race after a cautious start. The 26-year-old expertly judged where he could push without too many risks to climb from 10th to fifth. He had just passed Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl when he fell out of contention at the final corner on lap 11.

The spill cost Crutchlow more precious points in his quest to finish fifth in the World Championship rankings but he is confident he can return to the podium battle in next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

Andrea Dovizioso

Position 13th – Time: +1’28.989

“It’s a real pity that the rain came this afternoon. We did such a good job during the weekend with the bike in the dry and we started strong from the first session, so to find these really bad conditions was unlucky for us today. I was ready for a really hard race in hot weather and I’m sure I would have been fighting for the podium in the dry. We can’t change it and I certainly didn’t have the same good feeling in the wet. I had a big slide off the start and lost some places but I managed to get into a fast pace quite quickly. It is very difficult to start a race in the rain with no other time on track in the wet all weekend. I was quite fast but I was lacking rear grip. I could brake very strong but I struggled at exit of the corner. I pushed really hard trying to pass Casey and I lost the front without braking while at maximum angle. I still managed to score some points and finish the race but we expected much more and I am determined to bounce back quickly next week in Australia.”

Cal Crutchlow

DNF

“It has been a pretty disappointing weekend to be honest and another DNF has really hurt my chances of finishing fifth in the Championship because Valentino and Alvaro were behind me in the race. When I crashed the rain had really started to fall heavily and I was braking upright. I must have hit some standing water but I was down with no chance to save it. We struggled all weekend to find a good set-up in the dry and I had no rear grip. Unfortunately it was the same in the rain and we need to understand why for the future. I had to make up all my time on the brakes and I was pushing and got caught out. Phillip Island is a track I love, so hopefully I can put the disappointment of here and Japan behind me to finish the season strong.”

Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“We were really confident last night after Andrea had finished on the front row of the grid. He was very positive that he could battle for the podium again and we were even thinking that he might be able to push Dani and Jorge in the dry. But the weather played a pivotal role today and it turned out to be a very disappointing afternoon for us. The conditions were very unpredictable but Andrea and Cal were doing a very good job. Andrea was pushing very hard and after only two laps he was back in fourth and in the hunt for the podium. It is a pity that he crashed because we were confident that he was going to put pressure on Casey and go for the podium. It is the same story for Cal. At the stage of the race he crashed the conditions were incredibly difficult and I suppose we can be thankful that both of them are fit for Phillip Island. It wasn’t a good result for the Championship but at least Cal was fighting inside the top five again. I don’t think anybody can say the race wasn’t stopped at the right time and hopefully we will have dry weather in Australia and both of them will be pushing for the rostrum.”

2012 MotoGP Malaysia

Sepang 21/10/2012 13 Laps

race I
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 29’29.049
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’03.774
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 0’07.144
4 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’10.518
5 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’16.759
6 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’17.276
7 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’50.282
8 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 0’51.585
9 James Ellison ART GBR 0’56.676
10 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 0’57.622
11 Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA 1’02.805
12 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’02.891
13 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 1’28.989

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 16 of 18

1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 330
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 307
3. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 213
4. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 195
5. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 154
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 148
7. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 135
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 125
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 114
10. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 88
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 79
12. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 63
13. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 53
14. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 43
15. Michele Pirro FTR ITA 30
16. James Ellison ART GBR 28
24. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 7

Circuit Length:
5548

Temp:
25

Crowd:
77000

Weather:
Heavy Rain

Lap Record:
2’02.108
(Casey Stoner, 1/1/2007)

Fastest Lap Ever:
2’00.334
(Jorge Lorenzo, 10/25/2012)

Manufacturer Standings

21/10/2012

1 Honda 362
2 Yamaha 346
3 Ducati 174
4 ART 87
5 BQR 31
6 FTR 30
7 Suter 25
8 Ioda 16
9 BQR-FTR 2
10 Kawasaki 2

Team Standings

21/10/2012

1. Repsol Honda Team 537
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 418
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 330
4. Ducati Marlboro Team 262
5. San Carlo Honda Gresini 184
6. LCR Honda MotoGP 125
7. Power Electronics Aspar 116
8. Pramac Racing Team 89
9. Cardion AB Motoracing 43
10. Avintia Blusens 40
11. Paul Bird Motorsport 28
12. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 25
13. Came Ioda Racing Project 16
14. Speed Master 13